Raúl O. Paz Pastrana

Raúl Paz-Pastrana is a Mexican immigrant filmmaker, cinematographer, and multimedia creator, based in Denver, Colorado. His work intersects contemporary art, political documentary, and visual ethnography to explore themes of belonging, alienation, and the concept of “home.” Raúl often collaborates with BIPOC artists and academics that are working on bold artistic projects that expose racism and xenophobia, such as the worldwide “Hostile Terrain94” installation and the “Coyotek project” interactive website. His films have screened at museums and festivals worldwide including at the Sheffield Doc/Fest in the U.K., the Museum of the Moving Image (MoMI) in New York City, and at the Guadalajara International Film Festival (FICG) in Mexico. Raúl’s work has received support from the Spark Fund, the Princess Grace Foundation, The Ford Foundation-JustFilms, The LEF Foundation, ITVS, Catapult, and the Sundance Institute among others. He is a BAVC MediaMaker Fellow, a Firelight Media Documentary Lab Fellow, a New America National Fellow, and a Creative Capital Awards Artist Fellow.


Following a racing season at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, this observational documentary paints an intimate portrait of the unseen "groom" BIPOC workers that sustain the elite horse-racing industry, showing how wealth, class, and race come together in the U.S.


Border South (Documentary Lab)
Alejandro Jiménez: The Ground I Stand On
Backside (PBS/Firelight William Greaves Production Fund)

Program Affiliation

Documentary Lab
PBS/Firelight William Greaves Production Fund

Cohort Year

2018-2020 (Documentary Lab)
2022 (Spark Fund)
2023 (In The Making)
2024 (PBS/Firelight William Greaves Production Fund)





Documentary Lab
Spark Fund
In the Making
PBS/Firelight William Greaves Production Fund

Other Filmakers